The Profession

The Fire Protection Engineer

firemanThe phenomenon of fire has been intriguing humankind for centuries. The complexity of the relationship between people and fire ranges from the simple to the intricate. Largely, we have utilized fire and been its master; but on occasion throughout history, there were times when fire has dominated our culture, our cities, and our way of life.

Fire knows no bias, wreaking havoc without great preference to race, class, ethnicity, disability, religion or national origin. It sadly strikes one and all - and it is for all of us to control as fire protection engineers.

Fire Protection Engineering, as defined by the National Fire Protection Association is "the science of reducing loss of life and property by fire, including both prevention and fire extinguishment, by public or private means. Also, the degree to which such protection is applied." Through the use of engineering fundamentals, research and fire analysis, the Fire Protection Engineer assesses the problem confronted and formulates a solution which is not only functional but economically feasible and practicable.

Fire Protection Engineers may be involved in numerous tasks, including the design of fire protection systems for high-rise buildings and industrial complexes; analysis of the level of fire protection in commercial or residential buildings, nuclear power plants and aerospace vehicles; and the research of fire propagation, detection and suppression. In each of these cases, the Fire Protection Engineer needs to be competent using state-of-the-art procedures in analysis and design techniques, including computer models for fire prediction.  More information about career paths in fire protection engineering are provided on the Society of Fire Protection Engineers website

Fire protection engineering is a unique, public safety oriented field of study within the engineering discipline. As fire shows little or no preference, so too we strive to reflect the lack of preference, by celebrating and welcoming the diversity of our cultures and backgrounds in the field of fire protection engineering. We welcome your inquiry and expression of interest in Maryland's A.J. Clark School of Engineering, and Department of Fire Protection Engineering.

Our Mission

Our mission is to reduce the burden of fire losses on life and property by providing the highest quality of scientifically based education, research and outreach in fire protection engineering, and in fire related safety, health and environmental issues.